I haven’t washed my hair in 4 days, can I dye it?

  • You can dye your hair if you haven’t washed it in 4 days. First, you must rinse it with only water. Don’t use shampoo or conditioner.
  • That rinse will remove any dust that might be on the surface of your hair. Also, residues of hair products such as gels, sprays, styling mousses, etc.
  • This will ensure perfect color coverage when you dye your hair.


three days without washing

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Nature is wise. There’s no doubt about it. Do you know why?

One of my best tips for my clients is not to wash their hair for at least two days before applying hair color.


The scalp is made up of hair follicles. In addition to generating hair, they produce sebum.

That sebum is an oil that protects the hair from dehydration.


That  oil also forms a protective film against the corrosive action of hair dye, which contains peroxide and ammonia. 

Therefore, hair that hasn’t been washed for two days will be more protected against chemicals than clean, freshly washed hair.


Now, two days is one thing; four days is another.

 If you used any hair products such as hair sprays or styling gels during those days, you’ll have to remove them for the hair dye to act. 

How should you remove them?


It’s simple: wash your hair ONLY with water.

Don’t use shampoo or conditioner. The purpose is to remove the product remains to prevent them from ruining the coloring result.

Regardless of the coloring technique, you shouldn’t wash your hair first. Each coloring or bleaching job will require a different amount of time without washing your hair. I’ll tell you about that in detail.

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If you are only going to dye your hair, two days without washing it will be enough. If it’s four, you must rinse it.

with warm water and without shampoo

Clients usually arrive at the salon with hair unwashed for several days. Don’t feel embarrassed.

You shouldn’t wash your hair before going to the salon because it’ll hinder the coloring process.

The same advice applies if you color your hair at home.


If you wash your hair just before applying the hair dye, you run the risk of irritating your scalp. Also, the hair dye can slide down your hair fiber because the shampoo and conditioner create a film that closes the cuticles.

That’s the opposite of what you need. The hair dye is applied with developer and ammonia. They work on the cuticles by opening them and helping the pigment to set.

If you wash your hair before coloring it, your cuticles will close. Then, the hair dye pigments won’t be locked into the hair core.


If you haven’t washed your hair in four days, you should ask yourself these questions before coloring:

apply to dry hair

  • Did you use gels or sprays?
  • Did you apply moisturizing oils?
  • Did you use anti-frizz oils?
  • Did you use any other styling products?


If you answered yes to one or more of these questions,  you should rinse your hair to remove the remains of those products  because they could negatively affect the coloring result.


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How to rinse your hair to remove product build-up before coloring it?

  • Comb your hair, wet it, and rub your scalp with your fingertips without applying any hair product.
  • Massage for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, let the water run over your hair.
  • Remove excess water with a towel and let it air dry


You’ll remove any product residue left on your hair, and you won’t have any problems when you apply the hair dye.


Can I bleach my hair if I haven’t washed it in four days?

return to natural color

Yes, you can bleach your hair if you haven’t washed it in four days. However, you’ll need to rinse it as explained above. 


In this case, the best thing is not to wash your hair. I recommend not to wash your hair for two days to protect it before coloring. So,  the same applies to bleaching, which is a much more aggressive chemical process. 


It really is an aggressive process for the scalp and for your overall hair health.

The cuticles open up and can break due to the temperature of the chemical reaction. So, the natural oil and grease produced by your scalp fixes along your hair and moisturizes it.

When bleaching time comes, your hair already has natural protection from chemical damage.


Now, if you’ve used any hair products, you’ll also need to rinse your hair. Again, you shouldn’t use shampoo or conditioner.


Are you going to get highlights?

medium length hair

If you’re going to get highlights, it won’t hurt if you didn’t wash your hair in four days. Why?


Your hair will be more greasy and   slippery. So, it’ll run smoothly through the little cap holes. 

I usually apply a few drops of oil to my clients’ hair to prevent the hair from getting tangled in the latex.


  • Also, to make the highlights, small strands are separated, then bleached.

Your hair will be more protected if you haven’t washed your hair for four days due to natural scalp oils.


Therefore, the best thing to do before bleaching or highlighting is just to rinse your hair with water to remove any hair product residue there may be.

It’ll ensure that the dye will hold evenly.



If you’re going to dye or bleach your hair, remember that the best thing is not to wash your hair the previous days.

If you use any products such as gels, styling mousses, or even coconut oil during those four days, rinse your hair using just water. Then, massage it for 2 or 3 minutes to remove product build-up.

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